A.H Hardy holster
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Thread: A.H Hardy holster

  1. #1
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    A.H Hardy holster

    My K22 arrived today in a holster, a complete surprise. Anyway, once I cleaned it up the name range a bell. Turns out he was quite a shooter in his time, and pall bearer for Buffalo Bill Cody. Kind of a cool story and a plain but nice old piece of leather to go with the gun. Anyone heard of this guy? We can't carry in Canada so holsters are not on my radar much.
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  2. #2
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    "This guy?". Cap Hardy is well-known in gunleather and was a renowned trick shooter with rifles; and a Peters ammunition salesman promoting the ammo for his performances. The gunleather surely was a sideline for him until he moved to Beverly Hills then retired :-). Born 1876 died 1950, yours is his earliest mark while in Nebraska until 1910; he is in Denver where Heiser was based by 1912 and his mark became quite unlike his first and more like Heiser's:

    2 mrks (8).jpg

    By 1930 he had shifted to California and his mark was:

    2 mrks (9).JPG

    He retired by 1941, his work featuring in McGivern's Book of 1938. Today he is best known for the Hardy-Cooper shoulder holster once made by Sparks; which is a Heiser shoulder holster design but with Hardy's mark on it (!) and a slot added to it to earn the Cooper appellation. Jeff appears to have connected with Hardy in the years after WWII. With a few notable exceptions, Hardy's holsters were Heiser clones, yours included.

    A pair of his earliest newspaper appearances:

    New World's Rifle Record, Capt. Hardy Hits 992 Marble Targets out of 1,000". New York Times, 14 Nov 1907. A.H. Hardy
    An Unequalled Record, 13066 Shots without a Miss". Sporting Life 07 Dec 1907. A.H. Hardy

    And a later one:
    Clark Gable Tries Leather Art Work". The Los Angeles Times, 25 Nov 1938. Capt. Hardy teaches Gable, Gary Cooper.
    Last edited by rednichols; 06-11-2019 at 12:05 PM.
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    Red Nichols
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  3. #3
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    Wow. Thanks Red. So yes, Hardy is quite the character it turns out. It found this brief bio:

    A.H. (Capt.) Hardy was a world famous sharpshooter and was a pallbear for Buffalo Bill Cody, in Denver Colorado. He began learning leatherwork in Omaha Nebraska at the age of 17. Wherever he lived he always had his leathershop with him, making saddles, holsters, purses, anything leather. In Beverly Hills he worked with the studios as a technical director and teaching actors how to shoot. Actors he worked with included Tom Nix, Fred Stone, Clark Gable, William S. Hart, Andy Devine, Fred MacMurry and others. He also made custom holsters for them. In the 1935 movie Annie Oakley his daughter Kathryn did the shooting for Barbara Stanwyck, who played Annie, and Hardy for Preston Foster who played Toby Walker.


    Here's a link to some photo clippings from the day you mention.

    https://www.vintagegunleather.com/co...y_history.html


    Interesting the journey an unexpected piece of leather can send you on. Some folks collect his work quite seriously it appears.


    I appreciate your reply. With any kind of carry illegal in Canada my knowledge of holsters is close to zero.

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  5. #4
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    Nevada Leather still makes a replica of the Hardy-Cooper shoulder holster.

    I rate it as the best upright shoulder holster of them all, because it allows getting a full shooting grip on the gun before starting it out of the holster, but it still holds the gun butt against the chest instead of sticking out.

    https://www.nevadagunleather.com/Spr...olster-156.htm
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  6. #5
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    Brass monkey, that’s a great throw-in on your K-22.
    I collect his work, good examples are few and far between.



    Hardy told of wanting a gun when he was a boy, his mother was dead set against guns and refused to let him have one.
    After much pressure she relented; he could get a gun if he promised her never to drink alcohol or smoke tobacco.
    He did and he said he kept the promise, he attributed his steady hand to his abstinence.
    Red, I had thought that the Made By A.H. Hardy mark was simply a different stamp like many makers had, you’ve given me food for thought. I’ll go through my collection and see if the holsters I have with that mark are very early ones.
    Regards,
    turnerriver
    Last edited by turnerriver; 06-11-2019 at 02:37 PM.
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  7. #6
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    An early A. H. Hardy 7-1/2" Colt SAA holster as posted in the forum a while back. It is simply stamped "A. H. Hardy" on the skirt, under the pouch.
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